The couple arrives at the courthouse
WILLEMSTAD–The case against former Curaçao Prime Minister and current Member of Parliament (MP) Gerrit Schotte and his life partner Cicely van der Dijs regarding content is being heard these days in Willemstad. The Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday demanded a prison sentence of three years for the leader of opposition party MFK, plus the revoking of his passive voting right for five years.
If granted, the latter would make it impossible for Schotte to participate in the September 30 parliamentary elections.
For his partner Van der Dijs the demand was 18 months prison of which nine suspended, considering that she obviously committed the alleged crimes for him.
Earlier it was reported that the investigation team had not been able to find all the witnesses requested by the defence team. After some inquiring efforts the court ultimately decided to take off the witness list Alessandro La Monica, who is the legal representative of the company B+ of casino boss Francesco Corallo.
The latter took place during the discussion on the state of the probe. As no more investigations were needed, nothing stood in the way of the actual trial.
The first offence that Van der Dijs is suspected of is forgery. She is accused of falsifying invoices of the company Vanddis Inc. during the period from January 1, 2010 to July 1, 2010, in Curaçao and/or Italy.
One invoice is for the sum of 140 thousand US dollars and another for more than 73 thousand dollars. Allegedly contrary to the truth, it is noted on these invoices that the company had done work for Corallo’s Italian company Betplus.
The second offence is money laundering. She is accused of laundering money in the period January 1, 2010 to November 15, 2011 in Curaçao, the United States and/or Switzerland and/or Italy. The amount indicated by the prosecution is 200 thousand dollars.
The third accusation is the possession of seven so-called jammers (devices that allows one to block phone calls). This is an offence under the Criminal Code and based on the National Ordinance on Telecommunication Facilities.
Schotte is being accused of five offences, including bribery, corruption. He is accused of having accepted 140 thousand dollars and also 73 thousand dollars from the Corallo during the period from January 1, 2010 to October 8, 2010 in Curaçao and/or the United States and/or Switzerland. He did this as a civil servant.
These gifts were supposedly made to him so that he could favour Corallo and his companies, provide secret government information to Corallo, give Corallo influence in the Curaçao government via the newly created political party MFK, see to it that Corallo would be recommended internationally on behalf of Curaçao and ensure that Corallo or persons of his businesses would receive and important institutional function.
The second charge is forgery. He is accused of falsifying two invoices from the company Vanddis Inc. in the period of January 1 to July 1, 2010 in Curaçao and/or Italy.
The third offence is money laundering. He is charged with laundering money in the period January 1, 2010 to November 15, 2011 in Curaçao, the United States and/or Switzerland and/or Italy. The amount indicated by the prosecution is 200 thousand dollars. This amount came through forged invoices via banks abroad to the suspect and his partner.
The fourth accusation is the possession of seven so-called jammers (devices that allows one to block phone calls). This is an offense under the Criminal Code and according to the National Ordinance on telecommunication facilities.
The last offence relates to forgery on April 15, 2013 in Curaçao. Schotte filed a report indicating the loss of his diplomatic passport. This report untruthfully states that the diplomatic passport was lost, while it was found in the safe of his partners’ company Vanddis Inc.
The defence team will present its plea on Friday.
Source: The Daily Herald Three years prison, five out of politics asked for Schotte